It’s In.Posted: August 15, 2010
It all started with my mother-in-law’s couch. She moved to assisted living years ago, and her sons and grandchildren divided up her furniture. I got living room tables, a Twelve-Colonies Secretary, and this couch — long, tapestry material, mahogany carved wood outlining it, an antique. I didn’t have anywhere to put it, but we thought we could find a nice home for it.
Turns out, we couldn’t. And so it sat in the northern bay of our garage in place of the Forrester, then Outback that replaced the Forrester. It was there a good five years, maybe more, while my husband’s car sat out in the driveway through rain, sleet, hail, snow, sun, pollen dust, and leaves falling.
Then when he died and the kids were home for a week, they took on the task. I’d mentioned I needed it gone. My husband had owned a computer networking and service business and I now had an office — three rooms and an inventory closet with shelves stacked to the ceiling, full, and all this, from the biggest desk to the tiniest computer screw would either be sold, thrown away, or would end up in the northern bay of my garage. The kids found an antique dealer who came, laid out the money, and hauled the couch away.
He died at the end of June, so our deposit — final month’s rent — paid July’s rent on the office suite, and I had four weeks to pack up and get out. I spent two weeks hauling stuff to the dumpster at the back of the office complex, then a week of packing everything else in boxes. I put stuff up for sale. Then my sons and I rented a UHaul, loaded up a career lifetime of things, and hauled them home. My garage bay was packed to the ceiling with desks, shelves, electronic tables and stools, software boxes, books on every operating system in existence, customer files, boxes of office supplies, ten or more computers and monitors, boxes of inventory.
Slowly, inch by inch, step by step, as the aftershock of death wore on, I filtered through it all — sold some things, threw outdated things out, gave some things away — chipped away at that tall stack, until there was hope. Hope of getting it all dealt with and my second car back in the garage. It was a daunting task because all these things meant something to someone who was no longer here to use them or take care of them. It was emotionally draining because with each item moved, I cried from my core and apologized to my husband. “I’m so sorry, but you are not here and I don’t know what to do with this and I don’t have room to keep it.”
And so yesterday, I got there. Only a couple boxes left, inventory stacked on garage shelves, office supplies moved upstairs to the home office, a half-dozen computers stacked at the front because I can’t get rid of them because they have customer data on them, all old software thrown away, I took a broom and swept last season’s dried up leaves out and knocked down the cobwebs … and pulled my car in.
It’s in, it’s in, it’s in. I lifted both arms in a V and said “Yes!” I did it. I actually did something my husband couldn’t have done. I know he couldn’t — he was too busy. He’d let things like that go for the things of the moment. But I did it, and I did it all by myself.